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CHAPTER LXIV.

ENTITLED SURAT AL TAGHABUN (MUTUAL DECEIT).

Revealed at Madina.

INTRODUCTION.


THE title of this chapter is taken from words found in ver. 9, but there is no connection between it and the matter of the composition.

The revelations are hortatory in their character, but exceedingly confused. In the beginning the exhortation is to faith in God and his power to raise the dead. Farther on the subject is faith in the Quran. Then we have words of comfort for those in distress, who are urged to trust God, since nothing occurs without his permission. The exhortation then turns to the duty of obeying God and Muhammad; and, finally, married Muslims are urged to contribute towards the cause of God, especially by way of almsgiving, not allowing the cares of family and children to interfere with the performance of this duty.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

Neither Muslim commentators nor modern writers are agreed as to whether this chapter belongs to Makkah or Madina. NoŽldeke thinks there can be no doubt about vers. 14-18 being Madinic. He thinks this is also probably true of vers. 11-13. Rodwell thinks ver. 7 and the phrase "God and the Apostle" in vers. 8 and 12, together with the subject-matter, confirm the view of those who regard the chapter as Madinic. Weil and Muir regard it as Makkan. Vers. 2-7 are in their form and matter like the ordinary Makkan Suras, and the sentence in ver. 12, "the duty of our Apostle is only a public preaching," looks also towards Makkah.

On the whole, we think the chapter should be regarded as Madinic, though it includes passages imported into it from Makkah, either by Muhammad or the compilers. As to date, NoŽldeke places it just before chap. lxii., which would make its date about A.H. 2.


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Principal Subjects.

All things in heaven and earth praise God ... 1
God hath fore-ordained men to be either believers or unbelievers . . . 2
God, the Creator, knoweth all things. . . . . 3, 4
Former nations destroyed for their unbelief . . . 5, 6
Unbelief will not prevent infidels from rising from the dead ...7
Exhortation to believe in God and his Apostle . . . 8-10
God sovereign, therefore should be trusted . . . 11-13
Muslims exhorted to abjure worldly ties and to devote themselves to God ...14-18

IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.

R 1/15.

(1) Whatever is in heaven and earth celebrateth the praises of GOD: his is the kingdom, and unto him is the praise due; for he is almighty. (2) It is he who hath created you; and one of you is predestined to be an unbeliever, and another of you is predestined to be a believer: and GOD beholdeth that which ye do. (3) He hath created the heavens and the earth with truth; and he hath fashioned you, and given you beautiful forms: and unto him must ye all go. (4) He knoweth whatever is in heaven and earth: and he knoweth that which ye conceal, and that which ye discover; for GOD knoweth the innermost part of men's breasts. (5) Have ye not been acquainted with the story of those who disbelieved heretofore, and tasted the evil consequence of their behaviour? And for them is prepared in the life to come a tormenting punishment. (6) This shall they suffer; because their apostles came unto them with evident proofs of their mission, and they said, Shall men direct us? Wherefore they believed not, and turned their backs. But GOD standeth in need of no person; for GOD is self-sufficient, and worthy to be praised. (7) The unbelievers imagine that they shall not be raised again. Say, Yea, by my LORD, ye shall surely be raised again; then shall ye be


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told that which ye have wrought; and this is easy with GOD. (8) Wherefore believe in GOD and his Apostle, and the light which we have sent down; for GOD is well acquainted with that which ye do. (9) On a certain day he shall assemble you, at the day of the general assembly: that will be the day of mutual deceit. And whoso shall believe in GOD, and shall do that which is right, from him will he expiate his evil deeds, and he will lead him into gardens beneath which rivers flow, to remain therein for ever. This will be great felicity. (10) But they who shall not believe and shall accuse our signs of falsehood, those shall be the inhabitants of hell-fire, wherein they shall remain forever and a wretched journey shall it be thither!

SULS.

R 2/16.

(11) No misfortune happeneth but by the permission of GOD; and whoso believeth in GOD, he will direct his heart: and GOD knoweth all things. (12) Wherefore obey GOD, and obey the Apostle: but if ye turn back, verily the duty incumbent on our Apostle is only public preaching. (13) GOD! there is no GOD but he: where fore in GOD let the faithful put their trust. (14) O true believers, verily of your wives and your children ye have

(8) God and his Apostle. See note on chap. viii. 20. Rodwell thinks this expression an argument in favour of the view of those who regard this chapter as Madinic. The style and the matter of all that precedes it, however, count decidedly for Makkah. Indeed it must be admitted that even Makkan chapters may have been emended at Madina, and that expressions, common to Madina chapters, may have occasionally found their way into those of Makkah.

(9) The day of mutual deceit. "When the blessed will deceive the damned, by taking the places which they would have had in Paradise had they been true believers, and coiitrariwise." - Sale, Baidhawi, Yahya.

Expiate his evil deeds. See note on chap. iii. 194.

(12) Only public preaching. This is another mark pointing to Makkah as the place where this revelation was given. There he was uniformly a p reacher only. See note to chap. ii. 1 19.

(13) Wives and children, &c. "For these are apt to distract a man froni his duty, especially in time of disress ; a married man caflng for the things that are of this world, wbile the unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord (I Cor. vii. 2)-)."-Sale.


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an enemy: wherefore beware of them. But if ye pass over their offences, and pardon and forgive them, GOD is likewise inclined to forgive, and merciful. (15) Your wealth and your children are only a temptation; but with GOD is a great reward. (16) Wherefore fear GOD as much as ye are able; and hear and obey: and give alms for the good of your souls; for whoso is preserved from the covetousness of his own soul, they shall prosper. (17) If ye lend unto GOD an acceptable loan, he will double the same unto you, and will forgive you: for GOD is gratef ul and long suffering, (18) knowing both what is hidden and what is divulaed the Mighty, the Wise.

If ye pass over, &c. "Considering that the hindrance they may occasion you proceeds from their affection, and their in bearing your absence in tinie of war, &c."-Sale.

(16, 17) See note on chap. lxiii. 10.

(17) God is gratefull. See notes on chaps. ii. 159 and iv. 146.


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